Manchester United – who are 5/2 to retain the Premier League title they won in May – have turned their attentions to Real Madrid’s midfield maestro Mesut Ozil, now hopes of resurrecting a move for Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas seem dead in the water.

German international Ozil, who was one of former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s long-term targets, before moving to the Bernabeu in the summer of 2010, has reportedly been offered to the Old Trafford club for £40m, with Madrid keen to raise funds ahead of Gareth Bale’s expected move from Tottenham.

United had hoped that a final £40m bid for former Arsenal captain Fabregas would at least force the Catalan club to accept the offer, but with no encouragement forthcoming from the player, manager David Moyes has had to rethink his transfer strategy again having failed to land a target since taking the reins at the Red Devils in July.

Ozil is thought to be amenable to a move away from Spain, after starting fewer games in the league than Luka Modric last season following the Croatian’s £33m move from Tottenham.

Fellow attacking midfielder Isco has been brought in from Malaga for £23m and Ozil is concerned that – with Bale’s arrival also seemingly imminent – he could be the odd man out across the middle of the park this year.

Moyes has also been linked with Marouane Fellaini – who he signed as manager of Everton – but new Toffees boss Roberto Martinez has stated that the Belgian won’t be leaving on the cheap, following the expiration of his £23.5m buy-out clause at the end of last month.

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After training badly as a nurse during his early twenties, Iain spent four years working in a Cork City bookmakers before starting an English Literature degree in 2009. Since graduating, he has written for a number of sites on various subjects, including sports, politics and art.